I just now woke up from a dream in which a junior colleague* confided to me** that a senior colleague*** had told her that a department-wide colloquium I had done**** was so disasterous that now the general tide of faculty opinion had turned against me and my tenure prospects were now clearly dubious.*****. Anyway, this then led to speedy, confusing set of events in which I was not only no longer in my faculty position but also unable to secure any other kind of employment, and I was reduced by my destitution to a state of shambling mental illness, surviving only through the pity-driven charity of a few colleagues while the remainder openly fretted that psycho me was going to start stalking/terrorizing them one by one. Eventually, I came to be psychologically, if not economically, redeemed, by playing this game that resembled two-on-two floor hockey. Two of the other players were other sociology folks at Madison, while the third, for whatever reason, was Elliot Gould.
One of the most truly twisted things about academia, of course, is that it selects in people who are already tend toward the neurotic and then puts them in protracted situations--i.e., graduate-school and assistant-professorhood--that would provoke heightened neurosis in anyone. Still, this is the first dream I can ever recall having about tenure, or at least about tenure and Elliot Gould.
* a person who, in fact, I hardly ever talk to
** in a Brooklyn accent that she does not, in fact, have
*** a person who, in fact, is not even on the faculty at Madison anymore
**** a talk which I've not, in fact, presented at Madison, although there were dream-recollections of an actual talk I have given, but which, in fact, was attended by hardly any of my colleagues
***** incidentally, she told me this news using a strange locution that I can't imagine her or anyone else ever, in fact, actually using, namely that "the emerging helix of opinion is that your talk sucked."